The Silver Gun (Art Deco Mystery)

Written by L.A. Chandlar
Review by Sara Dahmen

In 1936, Lane Sanders is the new personal aide to the larger-than-life 99th mayor of New York, Fiorello La Guardia. When she is suddenly thrust into danger, it’s a multi-layered mystery at once. Who is threatening her and why? Does it have to do with her position as the mayor’s right hand? Is it the gangsters of the dirty thirties or someone with a connection to her past? And who can she really trust? Thrust into one escapade to another, Lane is buffeted by her artistic Aunt Evelyn, her aunt’s steady butler, friends from work, Fiorello himself, as well as an unlooked-for love interest. Still, it’s a hard case to crack, even with all of the help, and Lane ends up staring at her parents’ past in order to figure out her destiny.

Pulling on the music, nightlife, and clothing of the ´30s to create atmosphere, the book takes a close look at the glamorous pieces of the era without spending much time on the destitution of the Depression. While the action flows relatively quickly so there is little breathing between excitement, I found the first-person point of view to be unreliable. Lane is shot at, shoved in front of oncoming trains, and attacked, among many other harrowing ordeals, and yet has very little reaction or personal response to these intense moments. Other characters lack depth, too: Aunt Evelyn is randomly connected to any and all influential people of the time, but no one seems to have much to say to such big news, nor is it ever used. There are great bones to this mystery, and it’s a really fun romp overall, so lovers of Art Deco and the 1930s will definitely enjoy The Silver Gun.